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Solved: "Windows cannot open this file."


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imawriter imawriter is offline
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18-Sep-2012, 03:13 PM #1
Solved: "Windows cannot open this file."
Sometimes a person sends me a file and when I click on it, the above is what I get. It usually gives me two choices; go with their selection or pick another from a list. When I have tried either of those, it goes to "Windows File Association."

And then I don't know what to do. At one point I did download the "Free PDF Tablet" to see if that would help. I don't know if it will or not because I don't know where to find it. Is there an easier solution or...how to I use the "Free PDF Tablet?"

Thanks in advance.
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18-Sep-2012, 03:27 PM #2
I should have added that I have Windows XP3.
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18-Sep-2012, 03:47 PM #3
It could be a file someone sent you from MS Office. I had a similar issue, getting WORD files that wouldnt open with Wordpad.
If thats the case, try downloading Open Office (free), and see if you can open the files. Open office is compatable with MS Office files.
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18-Sep-2012, 07:09 PM #4
I 'm not aware of any of my contacts using MS Office, but could be.When I go to My Programs I see New Office Document and Open Office Document listed there. I have never used either...nor WordPad. I strictly use Word 2002.

When I go to Add/Delete programs, under Control Panel, I see Microsoft Office Power Point Viewer 2007 and seven or eight security updates listed.

I haven't saved any of the communications that wouldn't open so I guess I will have to wait for another one to try out your free Open Office suggestion. Does the fact that I have New Office Document and Open Office Document mean that I already have Open Office? If so,how do I use it to try to open the next puzzling communication?

Thanks for the tip. I welcome any others, too.
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18-Sep-2012, 07:21 PM #5
You have to tell us what type of file you're being sent. Different file types open with different programs. You don't open Excel spreadsheets with Windows Media Player, right?
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18-Sep-2012, 07:25 PM #6
The reason the file won't open and goes to Windows File Association dialogue is because it doesn't have a program associated for the file type.
You need to see what the extension of the file is and then select an appropriate program to open it with. For example: .doc or .txt would associate with a text editor (Notepad, Word, Wordpad, etc.).
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18-Sep-2012, 07:30 PM #7
Thanks Throoper, especially for the example. I will watch for that next time.
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19-Sep-2012, 08:31 AM #8
OK...I have more information. Just clicked on another link from an e-mail message that was supposed to take me to a list of performances. It is a .pdf file. Again I get two choices; go with their selection or pick another from a list.

I went to the List, looked under P and didn't see .pdf as an option, just Power Point so I clicked there to see what would happen and then clicked on the box that said something about always using this file to open these messages. I didn't expect it to work and it didn't. It told me that "Power Point Viewer cannot open this file...because it is not a Power Point file."

So I clicked on several other .pdf files on my download list to try something else and got the same Power Point box over and over telling me that it couldn't open the file etc. as above.

How do I get out of this and, when I do that, how do I open a.pdf file?

Thanks in advance.
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19-Sep-2012, 08:41 AM #9
You need to install a PDF reader like Adobe Reader. or Foxit.
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19-Sep-2012, 08:47 AM #10
By checking the "Always use" line, you associated Power Point with PDF files.
I'd go with Foxit Reader for opening PDF's. http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/
During installation, be on the lookout for extra things that want to install like toolbars and be sure to uncheck them.
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imawriter imawriter is offline
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19-Sep-2012, 09:57 AM #11
Well...I installed Foxit ...a lot of boxes to check or uncheck. I did not check any toolbars but guessed at other options. Among those,I chose to always use it to open .pdf filles and also for an icon on my home page.

It worked! So how can I avoid Power Point from taking over since I chose that option above?

Thanks. I can always count on you all.
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19-Sep-2012, 10:15 AM #12
If you have Foxit set to always open PDF's, that should be what's always used when you double click a PDF file.
If for some reason Power Point is still used by default, just right click a PDF>Open With>Choose Program and in the program selection window, select Foxit Reader and check the "Always use" box.
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